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1960 Electra 225 Convertible

Guest shorttimer

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Guest shorttimer

The time has come to thin the herd. I have been driving my '60 Invicta every chance I get and that has made me want to see this one go to someone who will give it the attention it deserves. I know you guys like the story, so here it is:

In 1960, Arlene S. of Chicago was a senior in high school and the apple of her father’s eye. On May 5<SUP>th</SUP>, 1960, Arlene and her mother, Jan, visited Van Male Buick of Chicago to pick out Arlene’s graduation present, a brand new Buick. On May 10<SUP>th</SUP>, Arlene took delivery of her new car, an Arctic White Electra 225 convertible outfitted with heater/defroster, Sonomatic radio with manual antenna, EZ-EYE tinted glass, permanent anti-freeze, chrome door guards, white wall tires and red leather bucket seats, for the princely sum of $4,883 (before financing and insurance, mind you).

Arlene drove the car to school and later to work, which was apparently only a 6-8 mile round trip, until she married George D. in the late 1960s. She claims the car had approximately 30K on it at this time. In around 1968, Arlene stopped working to become a full time mom, and by the early 1970s, the Buick had become a 'beach and weekend’ car for the family. During this time, the speedometer broke and the odometer has read 38K ever since. I have extensive service records from 1971 through the early 1990s.

In 1984, George spent $4,400 having the Buick ‘restored’ by Valley Restoration of Minnesota. The invoice indicates the entire car was painted, engine detailed, interior re-dyed and the broken passenger quarter window frame replaced (the driver’s side frame and window is now broken). George passed away at some point in the early 1990s and Arlene gave the Buick to her son, George Jr. in 1995. George Jr. told me he drove the car a fair amount the first few years, but with no seatbelts and two newborn children, his use declined over time until the brakes failed and the car was put up awaiting a repair that never materialized. Ultimately, he lost his storage and decided to sell it in the summer of 2009.

I purchased the car form George Jr. (with Arlene’s approval) in 2009 and had it transported from Chicago to Northern California, where it remains today. Make no mistake, it is a Chicago car and it has its share of rust, but I have seen much worse. My intent was to make a dependable driver out of it and put the sheet metal work off until I decided to restore the car. The inner and outer rockers are rotten on both sides, as are the toe boards and the body mounts where the front fenders bolt to the body/cowl. The majority of the floor and the trunk appear to be intact without readily apparent rust-through. Both front fenders are rusty and the doors have rust in the hems. I have not removed the ribbed panels to inspect the body behind the rear wheels, and although there are no visible signs of rust through on the inner quarters, I would expect this area will need some level of attention.

With the exception of one front wheel well molding, all the stainless trim is present and is very scrape/dent-free for one of these cars. The bumpers are really straight and will make great cores for plating. Paint will shine but has lots of chips. There are a few splits/tears in the seats, but they have not been reupholstered and I was intending to just patch them up. The center console lid is broken, but I have all the pieces. Carpet is original and very servicable, and with the exception of the one rear window, all the glass is good. The top has shrunk a little and the back window needs to be polished, but there are no holes. The pump works, but it is low on fluid and it needs help to go up and down. Trunk cardboards, mats and jack hold-down spring are present, as is the top boot. Radio works and the buttons are unbroken (and still white!). The fluid in the Dynaflow is red, there are no visible leaks and all gears function without hesitation. Engine starts right up, holds oil pressure and does not overheat.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to work on it as much as I would like (I am in SoCal), but I started on the work required to make a good driver. So far I have done the following:

Battery (2009), Rebuilt PB booster ("Booster" Dewey), new master cylinder, wheel cylinders, return springs, stainless lines (center lines I initially received were incorrect and the correct lines are not yet installed), brake hoses (3), new brake shoes F&R, new e-brake cables (front not yet installed), new water pump (one short bolt broke, so it weeps coolant when warm), new coolant & heater hoses (heater valve works, no core leaks), radiator cleaned, new PS hoses (box has a leak), new speedo cable (not installed), rebuilt carb (4GC), new fuel pump (have orig AC pump). The brakes need finishing and the carb needs dialing-in to make it road-worthy, but the car moves and stops under its own power and I have driven it around the neighborhood numerous times.

I have let this one sit long enough and would like to see the car go to someone (ideally a BCA member) who will get it back on the road and enjoy it as much as Arlene did when it was new. Yes, it has its problem areas and is far from perfect, but it is a documented, relatively unmolested and complete bucket seat convertible that could be put back into use before the summer months are out.

I am asking $x, but would consider a serious offer from someone with the talent and commitment to see this one through. If you are or know of that guy or gal, please shoot me a PM and lets talk. I have many pictures, but here are a few to get started with.











Edited by shorttimer
Car sold (see edit history)
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Guest shorttimer

I appreciate the interest, but I am not going to sell/trade the bucket seats separately.

However, I'm still open to an offer on the car and want to find it a good home, preferably without going the eBay route....

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